tv Politics Nation MSNBC November 7, 2011 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
new book. i'm going to the jewish community center in the morning and the commonwealth club of silicon valley in the evening. that's "hardball" for now. "politics nation" with al sharpton starts right now. good evening and welcome to "politics nation." i'm al sharpton. we're going to talk later this hour about politics. one year to election 2012, as well as that amazing tape from a new herman cain accuser. we start with breaking news tonight. a verdict in the trial of michael jackson's doctor. justice in the trial of michael jackson's doctor. just a short time ago, dr. conrad murray was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of michael jackson. in a moment, we'll have a live report from the courthouse. but first i want to say a few words about my friend, michael jackson. i knew michael jackson for over
30 years. i worked with him. i've been on the road with him. he supported national action network, a group i founded and still head. we supported him. i ended up speaking at his memorial when he died. i did a eulogy at his burial. i walked with his children as we placed his body to rest. so i did not go out to the trial. i did not comment much because i knew that i didn't look at this objectively. but i look now that the verdict has come in and i'm looking at people that act as though this trial was about michael and not about a doctor not living up to his oath and crossing the line of criminality. i'm looking at the fact that even in death, they're trying to act like there's something wrong with michael rather than something wrong with exploiting people like michael. even if they exploited their
weaknesses, even if they exploited their flaws, it's time for us to come to terms with the fact that you cannot use people as money machines. use them, squeeze them, get all you can out of them and then when something goes wrong, then it's their fault, while some people go to the bank and they go to the seminary. we'll talk about that tonight. we have this story covered from all angles this evening in just a minute. we'll talk to brian oxman who represented the jacksons over the last 25 years as an attorney. he served as joe jackson's attorney in the wrongful death case. first, let's get the latest from the courthouse with msnbc news correspondent kristen dahlgren. kristen, thanks for coming on the show. >> reporter: hey, there, al. it's 2 1/2 years since michael jackson's death since you spoke at his funeral.
and today we finally did hear the verdict in association with his death. dr. conrad murray, found guilty of involuntary manslaughter. want to play for you that moment inside the courtroom. >> we, the jury in the above entitled action, find the defendant, conrad robert murray, guilty at of the crime of involuntary manslaughter, in violation of penal code section 192, subsection b, alleged victim, michael joseph jackson. >> reporter: we're told that that scream there inside the courtroom was from michael's sister, la toya. during the verdict, conrad murray sat pretty quietly, showed little emotion as the jury was polled. he did look at them. he was then handcuffed and remanded immediately into custody. his sentencing will be on november 29th.
he could face up to four years in prison, as well as the loss of his medical license and up to $10,000 in fines. as for the reaction of the family as they walked out, la toya again said, finally, there has been justice in this case. the rest of the family remained pretty quiet as they got into their cars and drove away. as for the crowds, though, they were jubilant when they heard that verdict being read. there was a scream out here. michael jackson's music began to play. many of the fans have been out here throughout this whole six-week trial. others during the two-hour period that we were given notecation that there was a verdict gathered here. and it's been a celebratory atmosphere for the fans. but you talked about michael jackson's childhood. the district attorney brought up that in his news conference. a remainder that paris, prince and blanket no longer have a father. they weren't here in the courtroom but they were featured
pretty prominently in this trial. the prosecutors saying that the actions of dr. conrad murray left them without a father, al. >> kristen dahlgren, thank you for your reporting this evening. joining me now, brian oxman who represents the jacksons over the last 25 years. he served as joe jackson's attorney in the wrongful death case. and torray, msnbc contributor. brian, let's start with you. some of us that have been close to the family, i was in the house with the three children and mrs. jackson right after his death leading into the funeral and all. and many of us felt that this doctor and those that may have had knowledge were getting off light and was hoping that even this would stick. has justice been served tonight, mr. oxman? >> reverend, i feel very empty by this verdict. i don't think that justice is
served. i think the result was the right result, that dr. conrad murray was, in fact, guilty as charged. but as to whether or not this brings michael some kind of rest or his family peace or closure, i feel so empty. and the one thing, as i listen to you, reverend, i remember that michael jackson loved you. and the problem is, that we don't have him anymore. and no matter what the verdict today, he's not going to be here and he isn't going to be able to tell you and talk to you anymore or to me. >> when you look at what this doctor's facing and he's facing maybe only probation, up to four years, loss of a medical license, up to $10,000 in fines and i'm hearing commentators saying already, well, michael made him do it, michael demanded drugs. michael lost his life.
there is no michael. these three children have no father. mrs. jackson and mr. jackson has no son. i think the dehumanizing of artists and athletes when they reach an iconic stage is what mr. oxman and i were talking about. it's like we're not talking about a human being anymore, like whatever the law protects doesn't apply to them. a doctor can exploit and do whatever he wants and it's the star's fault. >> yeah. whatever dr. murray has to deal with going forward, prison, fine, all that, he's going to have to wear on his shoulders till the day he dies that he's the villain, he's the one the world thinks killed michael jackson. if he actually is the one in the room who caused that, we'll never know. but the world, the law says that and the world is going to think that forever. he is the big villain in this story. but i want to go back to the beginning of this moment of michael jackson's death that he's ramping up for 50 shows in london, which is a superhuman
amount of shows to do. very many people thought he would have been able to carry through with 50 shows at his age -- and the pressure that must have been on him to get back to that superhuman level that he was at and do these 50 shows was massive. and that's part of why he brings dr. murray into his world to help him get ready for those shows and loses the control over his own life and dr. murray, of course, is not there to guide him. when we go to the hospital, a lot of times we ask for things and the doctor says, no, you cannot have that. when he's getting $150,000 a month, we can just go to another doctor if you say no, dr. murray loses the ability to be a doctor and he just becomes, what? a drug dealer. >> did dr. murray, in your case, lose his ability or did he come because the people that were going to pay him didn't care?
and he -- >> how about both, reverend? it's both. he lost his ethics. he lost his mind. he was, i think, almost cajoled by the concert promoters. you have to get michael jackson to perform, to perform. michael was not going to rehearsals. he was in pain. somebody had to drug him in order to get him get to those rehearsals. and the concert promoters brought him in and he lost his ethics. so who's responsible here? certainly dr. murray. but how about the puppeteers, who pulled the strings? the concert promoters. i think we're missing that fact. >> when i look at the fact that i've been around michael for years in all kind of circumstances, mr. oxman has been around him. i never saw michael in any of these conditions. doesn't mean he didn't do it. but it wasn't where any of us
would -- if he was that far gone, some of us would have seen that. but then you hear the voice mail that was played at trial to dr. murray where michael obviously had been drugged legally, illegally, we don't know. and this doctor is hearing this voice mail and he continued to go on, floating girlfriends through the house, allowing medication to be there that shouldn't have been there. no one stopped this. i mean, how do you hear what this doctor heard that they played to that jury and not take action unless you really don't care? all of this crap about michael made him do it, he heard the condition michael was in from the stuff he was giving michael. >> it's hard to say that he didn't care, that he wasn't -- i mean, he certainly was not taking care of michael jackson the way that he should have been. we asked a doctor about, what do you think about giving propofol in the home?
he said, that's ridiculous. he's performing pharmaceutical experiments in the home, not taking care of michael. he was not there for michael jackson to guide him through these difficult moments and that's why he's going to go to jail. >> if this doctor, attorney oxman, had been acquitted, wouldn't it have sent a chilling message around the entire world that really, you are responsible for yourselves if someone is paid or someone, for whatever personal reason of gain, disavows their oath and allows you to do something? let's say michael was totally responsible and you and i and the family just didn't see that side. the message would have been frightening to this doctor to get this kind of money, ignore what he ignored, do what he did and it's all right? >> absolutely right, reverend. you know, the anna nicole smith
case rose to the level of criticizing the doctors and saying, you drugged her, you drugged. after a while, everyone shrugged their shoulders and that went into history. the history of these cases are that we get all upset about the doctors overmedicating their patients. but after a few months, everybody shrugs their shoulders and says, okay, it's ancient history. i hope that in the case of michael jackson, that does not happen. and if there's a legacy here, it's the legacy, doctor, you can't do this, you can't do it to a superstar, you can't do it to the man on the street. i hope that that's the lesson we learn. >> reverend, i think if you look at the jury came back at about nine hours, it's impossible to imagine that they would have come back in any other way. i think they were quite clear from the beginning of deliberations that we can't let this man go. he was clearly negligence. >> brian oxman, thank you for
joining me tonight. ahead, the doctor's found guilty, but blaming the victim here continues. i'll show you exactly why that doesn't make sense. plus, the other big breaking news story of the day, a new herman cain accuser comes forward and speaks out with graphic detail. hear what it will do to the cain campaign. you're watching "politics nation" on msnbc. [ male announcer ] what's the beat that moves your heart?
welcome back. democrat conrad murray has been found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of michael jackson. the jackson family says justice has been served. but not everyone agrees. some continue to place the blame on michael, calling the star an addict and saying that $150,000 monthly salary he paid to murray pressured him to cater to michael's every desire, or that was paid on michael's behalf, i should say. but i want to remind people of something -- the voice mail, the voice mail that emerged on the first day of this trial left by michael on dr. murray's phone, mere weeks before his death. listen to this voice mail.
>> we have to be phenomenal. when people leave this show, when people leave my show, i want them to say, i've never seen nothing like this in my life. >> now, this voice mail was left on dr. murray's phone. obviously michael is clearly under some influence, legally, illegally, the doctor got the message. for the doctor to take no action, for the doctor to have no way that we could see -- and he certainly had every opportunity at trial because this was the first day of trial, to talk about what he did to deal with this. here was a man, in my opinion, taking the money, not caring about the patient. to now come back and talk about the patient rather than talk about the negligence -- and as
this jury said, and i agree, the criminal negligence, to me is the whole case, again, that we always hear, blame the victim. something that's too often done in hollywood. again, it is -- as long as you can make money, as long as you can make it go ching, ching on our cash register, everything is fine, whatever you need. but the minute that starts backing up, it's all your fault. and i'll still ching, ching on the residuals of what we can get for you and your catalog after you're gone. joining me now, ricky cleveland, legal analyst and former criminal defense attorney. and back with us, msnbc contributor toure. let me ask you, you're a defense attorney, how do you hear that tape -- if you were representing murray, how does he explain, if nothing else, why he didn't say, wait a minute, we have a real problem here? >> one of the issues for the
defense was the probably of putting conrad murray on the stand to give an explanation. we don't have an explanation. i think if the defense were also able to put the blame squarely on dr. arnold klein, which is what the defense wanted to do -- because it was dr. arnold klein that michael jackson was seeing for various procedures. and dr. arnold klein was giving michael jackson demerol, for all we know, that was a tape after he left dr. arnold klein and was filled with demerol. >> but we don't know that? >> we don't know. and that's part of the problem. there was no way that we could possibly from the defense side, any good defense lawyer, no one would have put dr. conrad murray on the witness stand because he had too many contradictory statements and he would have made a mess of it, even worse than it was. so there was really no way to explain that tape away. one of the problems, i would sasay to you is, keeping that
recording is just as bad as getting the recording. why did he keep it? and the way the prosecution played it was very intriguing. >> right. >> the prosecution played it right next to the three girlfriends and the inference, the subtext was that, that the reason from the prosecution's point of view that he kept the recording was to show the girlfriends, let them hear it, that they could see that he was treating michael jackson. now, of course, that could never be proven. but just the fact that it came in -- >> but it was what it was. the three girlfriends, i think, testified they knew about michael. they would talk to michael. i mean, toure, the broader issue -- because this is "politics nation" and i rarely do entertainment news, even with somebody that i have been close with. but the politics of this is the broader exploitation of artists of all colors, but it's clearly artist of color, in the music industry, in sports that are
treated as just money machines. they're not human. and whatever it takes, if it's steroids with athletes -- whatever it is, they become money -- it's almost like what we're dealing with with banks and other things when we deal with economic inequality. these people become pieces of meat to bring us money. and we just fuel the pump until they run out and then get somebody else. >> that's right. there is a racehorse aspect to these people that you become like the racehorse. and whatever it takes to keep you going, that's what we're going to give you. you touched on it, the whole hollywood access. if you're doing cocaine and you can keep it going, fine. if when you can show up to work or be funny or charismatic, we have to ae assess the situation. but as long as you can perform, it's all good. but here's the situation where michael jackson's celebrity power was able to control the doctor -- i want that check, i
want my girlfriends in the world to know that i'm treating michael jackson, so i'm going to do whatever he says. i'm going to stop being a doctor and do whatever he says -- >> a drug dealer could have that same kind of ethics, can't he? >> well, of course. but what we're looking at here, too, is when you look at dr. conrad murray, whether we look at him with the best of intention -- that is, that he really wanted to help michael jackson, if we look at it from that perspective, michael jackson needed to do those 50 concerts. 50 concerts, the idea of it, of what it could do to someone's body. and he was someone who was not sleeping. he was desperate to sleep. so dr. conrad murray did abandon his better beliefs in order to help michael jackson, even if we take all of the money out of it. the result, of course, is, is it dr. murray alone who is at fault here? they wanted that tour to go. >> they wanted that tour to go. and the problem is they want all
the tours to go and nobody cares about the artist. that's why i said and i'll play it later, there wasn't nothing strange about michael in that strange environment. that is unfortunately the way the culture there works and we need to correct it. maybe we need to do occupy hollywood. rick ricky, thank you for your time. tom mesereau is next. [ male announcer ] our nation's veterans are real-life heroes.
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dr. conrad murray found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of michael jackson. some of the toughest times that michael jackson ever faced were in 2005 when he was put on trial, accused of child molestation. he was ultimately found not guilty of all of those charges. his attorney, tom mesereau, worked by michael's side for over a year and came to know michael as a kind and decent man that wanted to change the world in a positive way. joining me now is tom mesereau, michael's former defense attorney. tom, i was glad to have you on tonight. i remember during that trial you and michael and i met in the bathroom at johnny cochran's funeral at west angeles church
of god in characteristic. and i saw firsthand how michael had really put his life and trust in you to bring him through a time when many friends he helped wouldn't return his phone calls. we get this bizarre picture of michael. was that the michael you knew and even if his lowest moment, some strung-out guy that couldn't handle the stress and pressure? >> reverend, thank you for having me on your show. michael was one of the nicest, kindest, most humble, most decent people i ever had the privilege to meet. early in that case, my sister came down with a brain tumor. at her door was the largest bouquet of flowers than she had ever seen. with those flowers was a little poem from michael. later in the trial, i started suffering from vertigo.
i had to go to a doctor. michael was so concerned about me. he was not concerned about himself. this was a very kind, decent, generous person. and let me say this -- i worked with him nine months before the trial started, five months during the trial. he would call me or my partner at 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning. he was always articulate, conscious. he worked with us very intensely and very, very cooperatively. he was never strung out on anything. i never heard him slur his words. that's the michael i worked with and that's the michael i knew. and what this dr. murray did is so inexcusable. but on the other hand, so typical when certain professionals, lawyers and doctors, get in the hands of celebrities. this was the most famous celebrity on the planet. >> now, none of us are saying, you, me, and none of the family members i've spoken with, that
michael didn't have any flaws. but to say he was out of control is something all of us take issue with. and whatever happened, he lost his life. i think people forget some children -- three children lost their father. katherine and joe jackson lost their son. his siblings lost their brother. we're aukt a hu-- talking about human being. the doctor should have walked away. am i legally right? >> you are absolutely -- you're not only legally right, you're morally right and you're ethically right. a professional is there to give professional advice, even if it's not the advice, the patient or the client wants to hear. he wasn't there to be a yes man. he was there to look at michael in the eye and say, michael, propofol is a dangerous anesthetic, it doesn't belong in the home, you're potentially killing yourself by using this stuff, we're going to find an alternative. instead of that, he said, yes, yes, yes, because he was afraid
the golden goose would fly away. he'd lose his money, his fame and prestige and look what happened. one of the greatest stars in history and also one of the nicest people in history is dead. >> now, one of the things that i want you to share with us in the moment i have left with you, michael jackson during that trial -- and i knew him years before and certainly during that and after -- was really abandoned. you were with him at a very low point where only his family was around. and many of the stars that crowded his funeral and that was there at the burial, wouldn't even return his phone calls. i don't think people understands how everyone, including the media, was talking about how michael is going to jail. they were even showing the cell he was going to be at. and you and the family were some of the few human beings on the planet that felt that michael was innocent and would be acquitted. he showed great strength during that kind of experience, tom.
>> he really did, reverend. he believed in god. his mother and father and family were tremendous inspirations to him. they told him the truth woild would win out. and let me say this, you are absolutely correct. i can't tell you how many big celebrity names were not there when he wanted help. but chris tucker, macaulay culkin told them, don't go to that trial, it's going to hurt your career. and both of them said, mixz needs us, we're standing for the truth. but others -- when michael decide, i saw people going on television, larry king, all professing their love for michael. but when we needed those people, they were nowhere to be seen. >> michael told me some names that one day i'll share with everyone and everyone knows the names. tom mesereau, you weren't one of those names. thank you for your time tonight. we'll be right back. [ male announcer ] cranberry juice? wake up!
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♪ that's logistics. ♪ welcome back to "politics nation." we turn now to the day's other big story. new bombshell accusations against herman cain. for the first time, a woman has publicly accused cain of making unwanted sexual advances. she says it happened after she lost her job at national restaurant association. these accusations are not confirmed by nbc news. but here's what she said at a live news conference after being introduced by her lawyer, gloria
allred. >> she reached out to mr. cain for help in finding another job. instead of receiving the help that she had hoped for, mr. cain instead decided to provide her with his idea of a stimulus package. which she will describe. >> i called mr. cain's office and left a message for mr. cain. he called me back. i told him that i had been let go but he said he was unaware of it. i explained that i was going to be visiting my boyfriend's family and would be only a couple of hours by train from d.c. where the n.r.a. national office was. i asked him if we could meet for coffee. he said he would. i then took the train to washington, d.c. when i checked into the room, i was shocked. i had a palatial suite. and the bellman -- i said the the bellman, there has to be some mistake. but he insisted there was no
mistake. i later found out that mr. cain had arranged for the suite. we had drinks at the hotel and he asked how i liked my room, which is kind of normal. and i was very -- i said i was very surprised. i said, i can't believe i've got this great suite, it's gorgeous. mr. cain kind of smirked and then said, i upgraded you. he then took me to an italian restaurant where we had dinner. during dinner, mr. cain looked at me and said, why are you here? i said, actually, herman, my boyfriend whom you met suggested that i meet with you because he thought you could help me because i really need a job. i was wondering if there's anything available at the state association level or perhaps if you could speak to someone at the foundation to try to get my job back, perhaps even in a different department. he said, i'll look into that. while we were driving back to the hotel, he said that he would show me where the national
restaurant association offices were. instead of going into the offices, he suddenly reached over and he put his hand on my leg, under my skirt and reached for my genitals. he also grabbed my head and brought it toward his crotch. i was very, very surprised and very shocked. i said, what are you doing, you know i have a boyfriend. this isn't what i came here for. mr. cain said, you want a job, right? i asked him to stop and he did. i asked him to take me back to my hotel, which he did. >> this becomes the fourth woman to make sexual harassment accusations against herman cain, but his campaign is denying them all, saying, quote, activist celebrity lawyer gloria allred is bringing forth more false accusations against the character of the republican frontrunner herman cain. all allegations of harassment
against mr. cain are false. joining me now is msnbc political analyst richard wolf and msnbc analyst michael steele, former chairman of the republican national committee. thank you both for being here tonight. let me start with you, michael. how do these new accusations change this controversy? >> i think it changes it quite a bit, reverend. up till now, it's been sort of a one-sided conversation with herman pretty much denying that there was anything and that if there was, it was nothing very significant and that it had been dealt with 12 years ago. i think now, as many have said, there's a face to go with the accusations, keeping in mind that this was 12 years ago, this has, quote, been settled but it is now part of the political dialogue. and i think it's going to be very damaging because as of yet, herman has yet to get in front of this story and to put it in context.
i don't know if this woman has filed a complaint at the time or took other actions or steps p given what she describes today. all that becomes part of the conversation. going into the debate this week -- the two debates this week, one on the economy that cnbc is hosting on wednesday night and foreign policy on saturday, what do you think they're going to be talking about? you can't have that debate with all those candidates on the stage. now you have this woman out here, certainly this is not good for the party. it is certainly not good for herman cain. and i think that we've got a little bit of a mess on our hands. >> but, richard, the polls are strong. granted, the polls were before we have a face and a story as we did today. but he remained viable. there was some dropping in his favorability. but he stayed in the top tier tied or still ahead of mitt romney, positives of 52%, down a
little, but negatives, 19%. how does he now hold that with this acquisition and the lawyer for one of the anonymous accusers, saying this lady's claim today was very similar in nature to the incident that occurred between his client and mr. cain, according to "the new york times." >> well, look, he could tough it out for a while, but the clock is ticking on him. whether it's now or later, it will soon be time to stick a fork in the pizza guy. you can only ride this out for so long. it says a lot about the rest of the field. of course it says a lot about how much the base really does not want to vote for anything like mitt romney. so that gives him a certain base. he can maybe get through an early state like iowa, maybe south carolina. but the bigger states are going to be beyond his reach, those less committed, less frequent primary voters are just not
going to show up for him. and it's the changing stories. there may be a lot of smoke and no fire in all of this stuff. but in the end, there's so much smoke, you can't even see the candidate. >> richard, michael, i have more for you. stay with me. we'll be back in a minute. up next, more proof president obama's fight for the middle class is working. stay with us. in america, we believe in a future that is better than today. since 1894, ameriprise financial has been working hard for their clients' futures. never taking a bailout. helping generations achieve dreams.
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mr. cain, the attorney for one of the women who filed a sexual harassment complaint against you -- >> don't even go there. >> can i ask my question? >> no. where's my chief of staff? please send him the journalistic code of ethics. >> herman cain this weekend trying to move on from the sexual harassment controversy. i'm back with msnbc political analyst richard wolf and msnbc analyst michael steele. richard, it looked like mr. cain got a little testy over the weekend, now with a live body and graphic details, i don't know that he can now just say, i'm not answering that, we're going to move on, look at the journalistic code of ethics. how does he deal with the press now if he was already edgy and
as michael says, he has two debates to deal with this week? >> i'm sure he'll get testier. there's not actually a lot of downside in a republican primary running against the media. the problem is, it's not just the media that's pursuing him now. and that's the damaging nature of having not just a credible accuser of someone who's a registered republican. i'm sure there will be lots of digging around about this accuser. but going against the media has worked so far. it's allowed him to tough it out. a lot of people have said, he's unflappable and he's sticking to his message. but, again, over time, whether it's in a month or by the time we get to super tuesday, this is going to run out of steam. >> michael, in the midst of all of this controversy, i heard a statement that disturbed me, frankly. and i was waiting for a great coalition of black republicans to come forward and address this. let me play to you what statement bothered me. >> all right. >> our blacks are so much better than their blacks.
we have very impressive blacks in our part. women who say, i didn't like it that he called me honey. this isn't dropping your pants and saying, kiss it. this is an outrageous attack on a black conservative who's doing extremely well and i think will be our vice presidential candidate. >> now, michael, our blacks -- does the republicans and ann coulter own some of you because nobody owns me. so i know i missed it. but i'm sure the black republicans and everyone got up and told her "how dare you talk about us like we're property". >> we had a meeting. >> i just missed it. >> right. we all agreed -- no, that's ann being ann. and you know how she goes for the hyperbole and all that. i don't think anyone walked away thinking they were being owned by the republican party, certainly i don't feel like that given my experience in the party. but that's part of the passion and hyperbole that comes out of
things like this. and i think that without that, as i said before, reverend, without that face of an accuser, someone who has hag wronged or felt they've been wronged to deal with, it's easier to go down that road. but i think now that you have someone standing in front of a bank of microphones saying, this happened to me, it was real for me, that changes a lot of that conversation. >> all right. let's look at some of the polling that we see with the president. if we look at 2012 match-ups, we see, according to the nbc/"the wall street journal" poll taken between november 2 pd and and t 5th, that president obama beats mitt romney 49% to 43%. and he beats herman cain 53% to 38%.
so we see the republicans in congress, 56% president obama, 36% who they blame for not solving problems. so they overwhelmingly blame the republicans in congress. this is a brand-new poll. it looks the president is comfortably ahead against the two main opponents, at least the main opponents before today's press conference, and that the republicans bear the brunt of the blame in this latest msnbc/"wall street journal" poll just released at 6:30. >> that may be true in terms of the blame. that's part of the tag line for congress. i think when you look at the poll and you go through the numbers more broadly speaking, right now, the president and mitt romney, for example, are tied in the electoral college, 196 to 195, with 147 electoral votes up in the air. that translates to about 12 states or so that are going to be in significant play. the problem the president has
is, he's weak in areas where he won the last time. virginia, north carolina, two good examples where the president is going to have a hard road to sell his agenda going forward. he has tim kaine running for the u.s. senate there. that could be a 1-2 knockout punch for the democrats if cain goes down and the president loses virginia. there's a lot behind the numbers that doesn't bode well for this president. but it's also, i believe, a cautionary tale for republicans. don't take this glass of water and drink it too fast because you could choke yourselves because the numbers aren't that great for you either. >> richard, look at the electoral map he's talking about. they are very close. there's no reason for either side to kick back because it is tight in some swing states. how does the president deal with that challenge? how does the democrats challenge in these toss-up states, looking at this map that is very close? >> well, we're going to be
looking at that map for a long time. but if you look at that poll, 17% of the country says it's only wrong track. in that circumstances, with the economy as bad as it is, this president is still six points ahead of the most electable republican candidate there is out there. he's six points ahead of mitt romney. that's the edge of the margin of error. herman cain is only five points behind mitt romney. if republicans can only get up to a six-point difference at this point, then this president is in a better position than people give him credit for and a better position than any president of any poll out there. it shows there's enduring strength for this president. it shows that the republican candidates, especially mitt romney, have not broken through yet. >> i'll tell you one thing, richard and michael, what will help turn out, at least in black areas, if i can get ann coulter on tour, she can help the president a lot.
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dr. conrad murray was convicted for one reason -- he did not take care of the patient. murray's lawyers tried to blame michael for his own death, over and over. they tried to paint the doctor as a scapegoat who was only doing michael's bidding. even if that were to be true, that's not what's in question. michael jackson had a right to be protected and conrad murray was paid to know better. today's verdict is a down payment on justice and it should be a message to all doctors that it is not okay to bend the rules and then ask for mercy if something goes wrong. in 2009, i eulogized michael, i spoke at his memorial. i said, among other things, these things -- i want his three children to know, wasn't nothing strange about your daddy. it was strange what your daddy
had to deal with. but he dealt with it -- [ applause ] i came today, mrs. jackson, to say good-bye to michael. i came to say thank you. thank you, because you never stopped. thank you because you never gave up. thank you because you never gave out. thank you because you tore down our divisions. thank you because you eradicated barrie barriers. thank you because you gave us hope, thank you, michael, thank you, michael, thank you, michael. >> and even in death two years later, thank you, michael, you were the vehicle that had a jury stand up and say, even if we're flawed, even if they castigate us, we still have right, we're more than money machines, we're more than racehorses. we're humans beings a